As part of the EU-backed Regional Housing Programme (RHP), over the last 10 years permanent housing solutions were provided for around 10,000 refugees, internally displaced persons and returnees in Bosnia and Herzegovina who received keys to their new homes.
The Head of the EU Delegation to BiH and EU Special Representative in BiH, Johann Sattler, opened the final RHP conference on 29 November 2023 in Sarajevo, which gathered officials from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro – countries which a decade ago joined forces to implement the programme which aimed at contributing to end the displacement situation of the 1990s in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. The implementation of the programme was supported by the wider international community, allocating a total of 294 million euros. The European Union is the largest donor with 238 million euros allocated in grants.
“I am very happy that the European Union is the biggest donor to the Regional Housing Programme, providing around 80 percent of all the funds. This programme is quite impressive. We have about 11,000 families in the region who got new homes, or 36,000 people in the four countries. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, about 10,000 people benefited from this Programme. Apart from these families receiving ‘four new walls’ – houses and apartments which were built to the best standards – for these families it very often meant a key to a new life where they could again participate in the economic, social and cultural life of their communities,” Ambassador Sattler said.
He added that as the 10-year-long regional programme is closing, there are still about 300 families who need help and urged the authorities to finish their new homes. He also thanked all the partners who contributed to RHP as well as donors.
The Regional Housing Programme is a unique reconstruction programme that, thanks to the political determination and responsibility demonstrated by the representatives of all four countries, can serve as a model for successful cooperation and progress.
The conference was jointly organised by representatives of the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Ministry of Spatial Planning, Construction and State Property of the Republic of Croatia, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare of Montenegro and the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration of the Republic of Serbia.